Nature in a Haystack

Leveraging Public Nature-Related Data in Disclosure Frameworks

July 4, 2022Published by UN Environment Programme

This paper from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) looks at how publicly available data on nature-related issues can be used to support financial decision making. It uses case studies from five countries: Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa.

The authors note that regulators and financial institutions are increasingly recognising the importance of integrating nature issues into their frameworks, but often cite a lack of useful data as being a barrier to doing so.

It finds some grounds for optimism regarding the usefulness of the data currently available. The researchers were generally able to find datasets that are authoritative, relevant to a range of nature-related thematic areas and provide comprehensive geographical coverage .

However, there were also significant drawbacks, with only 7% of the nature-related datasets identified in the case study countries meeting the standards generally used to support financial decisions.

The study concludes that disclosure frameworks such as the Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures and International Sustainability Standards Board should take steps to address the risks associated with the absence of data. This could include incorporating the use of global rather than just national datasets and investing in data collation efforts.

This page was last updated July 4, 2022

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